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U.s. 25, Afghanistan 13, Us 6, Cia 5, Mcchrystal 2, Obama 1, Nick Davis 1, Modine 1, The Cia 1, Jane Perlez 1, United States 1, Afghanistan Or Iraq 1, Washington 1, Taliban 1, Pakistan 1, The United Kingdom 1, Pentagon 1,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    July 27, 2010
    6:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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most of the deaths are the results of the everyday squalor of war, not the big instances. that said, of course there are reports of high killed counts in this material. a single report taking place august 9, 2006 has a kill count of 181, one wounded, zero detained. what is the circumstances behind that report? the circumstances not yet known. according to report, there is a cargo plane fitted out with cannons and circled around and killed 62 of those people. we add up all those deaths, we
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get about 80. the deaths of the other 100 are still not explain. there are many reports like that that looks suspicious with the full details not explained. we can see the behavior of the task force, a special forces assassination squad involved in the joint priorities, a euphemism for the u.s. the assassination liz in afghanistan. there are many events associated with that, some that resulted in the deaths of -- one that resulted in the deaths of seven children and others that results in a number of innocent.
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we can also see how people get on the list. they seem to be recommended by regional governors in afghanistan or by intelligence authorities, often with little evidence and no judicial review. >> you said you intend to cooperate. >> that is one of the interesting journalistic stories, that we manage to pull together these groups to share investigative resources. we shared resources stemming out of this material to deal with this. as equal partners, with the exception that we control the embargo data and could move that
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back in fourth. i spoke to nick davis, and then we did it between the editors. >> they modine this morning -- mod this morning are saying even they are unable to deliver these documents. how can you say it is accurate, and if some of it is not, doesn't that eat into your legitimacies? >> if some of that information was inaccurate, that would eat
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into our legitimacy hryvna -- legitimacy. we have never release these materials, and i did not expect this to be different. >> some people say the intelligence came from low- level, from people biased against different groups, so how can you allow people to read information as if it were true as far as you are concerned? >> when we published material, what we say is the document as we describe it is true. we published reports all the time, but our legitimate reports -- that does not mean the cia is telling the truth. similarly, with this material, there is reporting from military
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units of various kinds in afghanistan, reporting from u.s. embassies across the world about matters relevant to afghanistan, reporting from informers in pakistan and afghanistan. those are the reports. it does not mean the contents are true reagan >> people should exercise caution. >> people should exercise caution, and i will give you an example of the ways they should exercise caution. you will see how to read the material report. you will find the u.s. military units when self-reporting, often speaking the language, redefine
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civilian casualties as insurgent, downplayed the number of casualties, and we know this by comparing these reports to the public record for where there has been investigation. we see the initial report from the field was 56 insurgents killed, no civilians killed, but we know from later investigation that most of the people killed were civilians, but when units report on other military units, they are more likely to be frank. when they report on the other allied units not from the u.s. military, they are even more likely to tell the truth, and of
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course, when they are reporting on the taliban, it all comes out. similarly, when we had reporting from informers, we can see sometimes completely outlandish claims. they do not hold water. it will sometimes say the reporting is the result of the source being paid. there is a rating system that intelligence will give these sources about how reliable they feel they are, so that is the opinion, how reliable, but just like dealing with a name source, you should exercise some common sense. that does not mean you should close your eyes.
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>> what do they stay with regards to pakistani links? [inaudible] in the end, there is so much that one does not find it surprising. the you find it in any way suspicious that the document you got here were all fairly low level. the only guy in jail was a private first class. is there any feeling perhaps you have reason to doubt the
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reliability? >> we have no reason to doubt very good we should say what they do not include. they do not include top secret report. they do not include most reports from u.s. special forces. they do not include reports by the cia. they do not include reports by other coalition partners. however, they do include the majority of regular u.s. army activity, and where regular u.s. army overlaps in the activities of other forces in afghanistan, it includes reports about their activities, so when special forces assassination squad involved, people often partner with regular forces, so there are descriptions of these activities.
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similarly, when the cia engaged through grade or the bomb squad needs to be called in or something like this, you will see other government agencies cover, typically for the cia, sometimes for other intelligence agencies, and you can see some information about the behavior of the cia. it is true there is overlap with regular activity. >> [inaudible] >> we have a minimization process. our goal is reform. our message is transparency, but we do not put the message before the ago. if we have a serious endeavor, we do things with policy, not
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with an ad hoc to our knowledge, no one has ever been physically harmed by the material we released, even though we caused the change of governments and many other serious reforms. >> of just a quick follow up. [inaudible] >> i did not know enough about the policy to comment meaningfully. i can only say if restraints are reduced, there will be more.
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>> you talked about the policies of the material seven months ago, but how do you respond to the charge you are in no position given the amounts of material out there, what harm is being done with potential sources, and also about it all relating. how do you respond to claims the obama administration would argue that you say things must change. they would argue things have changed. >> one of the interesting things we have noted from this material is that at the time mcchrystal took command with the stated policy intention of reducing civilian casualties, i knew field appeared in these
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reports, the coalition forces causing civilian casualties. that appears to be an attempt to get some handle on the situation, to give some measure on wear civilian casualties are occurring as a result of coalition activities, so what we see if the u.s. army is an enormous vote and that is extremely hard to cover up. the cover up begins at the bottom and moves to the top, so it is quite hard to enact a new policy and have a filter down to a change in practice.
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the new policy by obama does not mean a change of practice by the u.s. military any more than a new policy by mcchrystal meant a change in practice by u.s. forces. >> these are war crimes. you said to cover of -- >> you already asked a question. >> with all the information you gave, what did they hold back on, and you have more? >> since december, they have been on a publishing hiatus.
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in order to do significant engineering to cope with the amount of submissions and the amount of public interest, it is actually a very hard engineering task to supply 2% or 5% of the entire world internet population at a single moment with materials, so we are a small organization trying to understand how to do that in a secure way theory dead -- in a secure way. as a result, we have built up an enormous backlog. in addition, along with 18 or 26 other people, we received a substantial increase in the number of submissions.
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we have an enormous range of material we are trying to keep up on with our sources in achieving the maximum for that material. >> [inaudible] >> this is one of those cases, so we have released to the public 76,000 reports from this set of material. the set itself comprises over 91,000 reports. we have held back about 15,000 reports of a particular type who undergo further minimization revere region review, and some of those reports will be released -- for their
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minimization review, and some of those reports will be withheld. it means it is -- until it is safe to release them. by that, i mean say for the local population of afghanistan. >> [inaudible] talk about freedom of expression. that is a little bit hypocritical. if you have used the word, and you are afraid to explain why. >> you have to wait your turn, and you have to freeze your question in a meaningful way. >> you used the word, not me. >> [inaudible]
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>> we have had one video production so far, and we do not know how to do tv that well. we have tried to do a more significant investigation, but we do hope to do that next time. serv reason why these organizations -- obviously, we cannot have a coalition be too large, so when we are talking three or four, we can actually get together and agree on all the conditions. those are possibly an example of some french publications reagan -- publications. goothe best publications in pri.
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>> i just wonder -- [inaudible] >> the investigation of the event in 2005, which killed over 100 people and approximately 60 to 80 civilians, by the german press, is an interesting case study, because the german press investigated this that is not seen for any single event in afghanistan or iraq, and it is really a credit to the press to see that level of
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investigation, but it also speaks to some kind of market demand to see those sorts of crimes thoroughly investigated where german forces play a part. there are a number of reports that do concern german forces, and task force 373 has been stationed near a german- controlled region. this has more on the issue. they know more about the details. >> [inaudible]
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>> the meteor groups -- the media groups agreed "the new york times" would approach the white house for comment, and that would come back and be shared amongst the others. that approach to replace the middle of last week. -- that approach took place the middle of last week. we have not had any direct attempts to silence us. now we have held it close to our chest, and so have the other media organizations. >> what, if anything, do you
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hope to change? policy? more information? higher public profile? >> we want the whistle-blowers to come to us. that is the role. it is a very simple criteria. geb like a lawyer, we will represent them fairly to the court, in our case, the court of public opinion. this submission at that criteria, and therefore, we were tasked to keep our promise of getting the maximum critical impact, and i think we appear to be living up to that promise. of course some material calls out for more attention, and material which exposes significant abuses task us to spend more effort on it.
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>> presumably, within those 15,000 documents, there are things you may have already seen that might deserve some amount of attention, and the fact if you get immediate coverage when these things happen, can you therefore answer the question that has been asked twice already? you mentioned the word "crimes." can you be more specific about the words? unless the question is answered, how do you expect the media to take you seriously when there are more questions? >> the more specific. >> you mentioned war crimes or crimes when you were talking about the documents. i am asking you to be more specific when you talk about war crimes or crimes. >> you are speaking about the
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issue in general. it is up to a court to decide whether something is in the end of crime. that said, there does appear to be evidence of war crimes. the example is 373 missile strikes on a house that killed seven children. >> [inaudible] >> on the one hand, as we all know, the united kingdom is the surveillance stay. on the other hand, we do have the expensive political, journalistic, and community support in the country, and it
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would only serve our interests for me to be arrested or detained. i cannot imagine that happening in this country unless there was a miscommunication from the bureaucracy to the political leadership. the political leadership in this country would not tolerate that. >> the motives of wikileaks are well-known. i wonder what your sources get from releasing the material to you. was the motive express to you? >> when we get some missions, we typically get a statement. we require a statement about what they want us to do about the material and why it is important and so on. yes, they wanted to mention a number of these.
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not all the ones we have found, but some of the once we have found, and there will be many more. >> [inaudible] >> yes, we have committed funds. they understand those funds are available at this point, that he wishes to engage. presently, his u.s. military legal team has not chosen to renew.
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>> the documents you talk about, are they similar low level reports, or does this include u.s. embassy? >> there are over 50 u.s. embassy cables in the material that has been released already. the majority of the material that has not been released yet. >> [inaudible] >> we experience of surveillance even from time to time, -- a surveillance van from time to time, and our sources have told us about the decision-making process that occurred some
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months ago within the white house. i should not say more about that, but private statements are made within the white house and departments. however, those have turned to public statements, which are mostly a acceptable. >> they suggest you have several million files and that they would be very controversial. can you give us an idea of why they are so controversial? >> we have files that concern to
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every country in the world, including the united states. we will not go into further detail until the material is to be released, but it is not one thing about lots of places, but rather, thousands of files about all sorts of countries. >> [inaudible] >> we are working as hard as we can. >> you have a big team? >> we have a small team of dedicated and overworked people. we also have around 800 volunteers in an extended network of 10,000 people and
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10,000 supporters. as anyone knows, we managed an organization going from a small organization to a large organization is very difficult. >> [inaudible] >> no comment. >> are you getting a sense they are getting all the coverage, that more people are going to follow suit and come forward with information? >> that is our experience, that courageous contagious, but when there is significant disclosure, that is resulting in media impact.
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it appears as if it is going to result in political reform down the tracks. sources are encouraged by the opportunities they see before them, so we expect a to also be true in this case. >> of the age of entering into it? >> [inaudible] >> there is no allegation as far as we can see determined that this material has been detected. and as evidence that has been provided or as a result of the charges the u.s. military has
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applied to him. he is a very high-profile source. he is the only alleged u.s. military source, so it was a natural tendency for anything related to the u.s. military to try and correlate this, but as far as we can see, there is no evidence of a correlation. >> [inaudible] >> there are no reports directly from german sources. there are some reports by u.s.
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forces saying when german sources have told them, and there are reports by u.s. sources on their interactions during encounters with german forces and others, but there are no direct reports in this material from any other group. sometimes there are reports given to regular army and marines that are being incorporated. >> would you compare the public knowledge of the german people -- [inaudible] >> i do not know what the german public knows. .
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it is a history. it will affect many different people in different ways. as a journalistic group, we have really only scratched the surface spread between us, we've read about about 1000 or 2000 of these reports properly. it is going to take the rest of the world press and academics to look at these statistics that come out of this and returned todiers' from afghanistan look at this. the refugees from afghanistan. toolkit this and say, i and a stand that event -- to look at this and say, i am understand that event. i was there.
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that was my father, he was killed. that was my buddy, he was killed. that was my commanding officer that gave me an order that i was extremely uncomfortable with. we saw things like that coming out. we saw two u.s. soldiers involved in that event come forward and give additional details. we saw the sun and brothers of the journalist who were killed come forward and give details. we saw the wife of the driver who was killed in the van come forward and give additional details. that is what i expect to happen with this material. to some degree, it is of such scope that eclipses the economic ability of the press to go through it. is going to require all interested parties to
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understand this material. that is why we have endeavored to put into a format that is easy for people to go through and comprehend. >> did you say that you would only gone through in detail 2000 of these documents? how do you square that with your argument that this is a responsible [inaudible] ? >> the documents are in many different categories. there are some categories that i do not have. >> [inaudible] >> it seems to be going pretty
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well so far. our greatest fear is that we will be too successful too fast and we will not be able to do justice to the material. that is our greatest problem at the moment. >> [inaudible] >> secrecy is sometimes perfectly legitimate. for example, your medical records are probably perfectly entitled to confidentiality. but not always. in some cases, that is not true. >> you make the choice then? >> if it is a matter of where
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the coercive power of the state should be used to stop people sharing information but have no direct connection to the source of the information. you cannot use the coercive power to keep people from spreading rumors. sophisticated u.s. jurisprudence -- and that is why you have things like the fifth amendment which takes the press and outside the legislative process. it is the communication of knowledge that regulates. the legislature which creates the constitution. >> [inaudible] >> unfortunately, we do not see any rival.
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we did have an application in to the application to try to give our technology to every news organization in the world. so every newspaper could have cement this information to -- segment this technology to less. that was rejected for political reasons after the video. >> [inaudible] do you see yourself accountable and the exact same way? [inaudible] >> there was no commercial arrangement. >> on going?
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>> we have been blessed over the past few months. we have been mixed -- receiving extensive support by a journalist and to human rights activists. we raised a million dollars from the general public. as a result, we're able to have a fierce independence that large organizations find more difficult. that said, of course, we are also immediately accountable. our money comes directly from the public, not from advertisers or foundations. >> what will happen now? what do you want to see done with the information? now that is out there in the
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public demesne, what you want to happen? >> -- the main, what you want to happen? >> we would like to see this taken seriously. investigated by governments and new policies put in place as a result. if not, prosecution of those people who have committed abuses. it is important to understand, the material just does not revealed abuses. this material describes every major attack that resulted in someone being detained or somebody being killed. that tells you how the war is going, where it has happened. what sort of weapon systems were used during which particular
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military units, is there a killer units? you can find out using this product read you can create a simple computer program. we have not done it yet. but any one of your technical staff can create a computer program to at the kills by units and find a top kill unit. that is an example of something that can be immediately extracted from. you can really see how the war in afghanistan is going and you can compare that to government policy. this is the raw material. it describes the color that this material in the up and is displayed on the board. this is the raw ingredient that leads to pentagon statistics about civilian casualties.
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we have all the events that are used to create those figures and we can understand whether those aggregate figures are accurate to or distortions. we know what is in this data base and we have investigations and weaken to the disparity between these two. we can see the aggregate figures are based -- >> [inaudible] >> we see a lot of the school. language in these reports.
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from minutes talking about why it killed -- from units talking about why they killed someone. why convoys going on the road, someone comes along, they should the driver. that unit then it reports on the things that it did. did you look across these reports and see an amazing number of civilians killed by ricochets, that we fired a warning shot and ricocheted to, it is just not credible that that many people can be killed by ricochets. it is like a policeman investigating himself, filing his own reports.
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that sort of report stage -- is those initial reports that lead to investigation spread we can see -- we can see the allegations of coalition forces causing civilian injuries. we see this applied to in an unrepresentative way not u.s. forces. the u.s. forces are talking about the french. that little gets applied. -- that label gets applied. this should not be any surprise
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as a basic understanding of how humans behave. it is a hardship to manage because the raw ingredients, the internal reporting, is not accurate. what are you going to do? >> [inaudible] >> that is right. there are distortions going on at up to the top. the top tries to push things down. we want you to support all the civilian kills. what incentive is there for a unit to report its own bad behavior? >> [inaudible] is a catastrophic problem. a lack of understanding.
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a lot of what you have [inaudible] >> i agree, but what is your question? >> [inaudible] >> the afghan people -- there are many diverse groups in afghanistan, a different language, different affiliation. yet u.s. troops and british troops are culturally homogenous. they all go in there with the same sort of culture. there are many different regional cultures in afghanistan. i feel that i would be drawing too much to agree with you,
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although i can see that as a problem coming out of the material. it is one thing after another. it is war. we do not normally see war. we do see what war is like. the everyday levels. as well as the events. when we released the iraq video, gates said it was looking for war -- at war through a straw. we only gave 40 minutes of video and this lack context. although we did give news reports about what happened. this is the beginning, the end, and the middle. this is the whole context, with some exceptions, of the afghan war. if anything, it it will give us some type of intellectual
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understanding. whether it engages people emotionally is another matter. to some degree, that is the task of good journalism, is to turn this war material to when, where, how, how many into something that emotionally engages people. >> are you concerned that leaking this information will do more harm than good? a lot of the information comes from [inaudible]
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there is another dimension. have you thought about it? is it going to make the situation worse? >> in the end, the trick is how we have, right? >> -- the truth is all we have, right? i think we have done that extremely well. that is done a bad outcome to realistically. what more can you do? >> what about the security of afghanistan when you publish this? >> there does not seem to be -- there is nothing tactical in this material. of course, we have looked at it
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and there does not seem to be anything significant. that said, the revelations of the u.s. -- abuses by u.s. and british forces may cause afghanis to be upset. rightly so. they should treat them better. not conceal abuses that have been undertaken. >> why does so much of the material, from u.s. forces? >> we published a lot of material from the british. the ministry of defense put in in order to british chemical, which controls the gateway for m d.
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they told them to block all connections in an attempt to stop british forces. it was a stated attempt. what happened in practice is someone who is responsible for counterintelligence got some command from a more senior person, saying, look at that thing on wikileaks. should you do something? they rode a letter to british telecom, instructing british telecom to make sure that normal connections could not look to our web pages. the result is that those senior people who complain to are no longer in a position to complain because they cannot read it. it is great. no investigation because they cannot see the material. we discovered this using --
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>> [inaudible] >> the german equivalent of the cia, their chief wrote to us demanding the removal of a document exposing corruption, which included information about behavior. under the threat that we would be prosecuted. well what is it that we will be prosecuted under? -- precisely what law is it that we will be prosecuted under?
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eventually, they decided they did not want to tell us. of course, there is no such law. >> [inaudible] >> please pick up a little. >> -- please speak up a little. >> [inaudible] >> we will not comment on what we have not released. we can look at what happens in six years, because we have a window of six years, and we do not see sad and dramatic shifts
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when there is a change in policy, i would find it very unlikely. if there were any sudden dramatic shifts in behavior, it would seem to be unlikely. >> would you be willing to give up your raw material? >> what do you mean? >> would you open up the raw material? >> we have made available to the
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world 76,000 of these reports. we have also released -- we have not released the precise format to --
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>> c-span, our public affairs content is available on television, radio, and on line. you can sign up for our schedule alert e-mail's that c-span.org. "washington journal" is next. the house comes in in a couple of hours for one-minute speeches. legislative work begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. live health coverage here on c- span. and coming up this hour, "the new york times" correspondent, jane perlez, and after that transportation secretary ray led it discusses stimulus spending for highway projects. -- ray l

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